HTC at work on mobile OS for China only

Work on the operating system is reportedly under close supervision by chairwoman Cher Wang, as Beijing makes a push for home-grown software platforms.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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The HTC One
The HTC One Sarah Tew/CNET

Mobile company HTC is working on a mobile operating system that will be available exclusively in China, a new report claims.

The operating system should launch later this year in China and come with integrated applications used often by Chinese Web users, including Twitter-like service Weibo, the Wall Street Journal is reporting on Wednesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of HTC's plans.

There would be a lot riding any HTC mobile operating system. The company has been having trouble attracting consumers in North America and Europe, and its sales have been sluggish over the last couple of years. China, however, is a huge market with nothing but growth potential for any and all device makers. And HTC wants to capitalize.

Helping matters a bit is a recent request by the government in Beijing that China-based companies start developing their own software platforms, so the country can reduce its reliance upon Western companies. In the case of mobile, that puts Google's Android and Apple's iOS firmly in the government's crosshairs.

HTC, which is based in Taiwan, sees an opportunity to capitalize on the government's willingness to accept new options. According to the Journal's sources, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang is working closely with the Chinese government to ensure the operating system hits on all the points officials want.